Chicken Shawarma with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce or Toum

I love a good shawarma. I also love fenugreek, a pleasantly
bitter, slightly sweet seed which – in ground form – is used in curry powders,
spice blends, and teas. After searching for a chicken shawarma recipe using
fenugreek in the spice mixture, I finally found one on
Veronica’s Cornucopia.

This version is for a sandwich, but I felt it would work
just as well as a dinner entrée.


Chicken Shawarma with rice pilaf, salad and lavash.

Chicken Shawarma with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce or Toum


2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded until

Ingredients used in the seasoning blend

Seasoning Blend Ingredients:

2 tsp. fenugreek 1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. allspice 1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. ginger 1/2 tsp. cardamom

1/2 tsp. ground cloves 1/2 tsp. salt


3 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. white vinegar

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

Tahini Sauce

1/2 cup plain yogurt 1/4
cup tahini

1/4 cup lemon juice 2
cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. sugar


The night before serving, combine the seasoning blend spices
in a gallon-size plastic bag and shake to combine. Add the lemon juice,
vinegar, and garlic, and massage the bag to combine, creating a thick-ish
paste. Add chicken pieces, seal tightly, and massage the marinade into the chicken until all the pieces are coated.

Refrigerate overnight.

Note: Prepare the tahini-yogurt sauce the night
before by whisking all the ingredients together and storing in the refrigerator
until it’s time to serve.

Grill (outside) or pan-grill (stovetop) the chicken breasts
on both sides until no longer pink in the center. Let rest 5 minutes. Cut
chicken into thin strips.

Can be served as an entrée with rice, salad, and a
vegetable of your choice, or as a sandwich: fill pita bread with lettuce,
chicken strips, tomato, cucumber, and onion, and top with tahini sauce or toum.

Recipe for Toum is from Liz Della Croce, the creator and
author of The Lemon Bowl®, a healthy food, travel and lifestyle blog.


1 cup garlic cloves peeled (roughly 3 heads of garlic)

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups canola oil you may not need all of this

1/4 cup lemon juice (about one lemon)


Place the garlic cloves and salt in a large food processor
and puree until smooth. It’s a good idea to scrape down the sides two or three
times to ensure that all of the garlic is finely processed.

Turn the machine back on and slowly drizzle in the oil
through the lid starting with 1/2 cup. After the first 1/2 cup has been added,
pour in a teaspoon of the lemon juice.

Continue alternating between 1/2 cup of the canola oil and
a teaspoon of the lemon juice until you’ve added all of the oil and lemon
juice. Alternating between the two is the key to proper emulsification which
creates the light and fluffy garlic sauce.

You know it’s done when the sauce is white and thick with a
similar consistency of mayonnaise. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

Recipe Notes:

Do not replace canola oil with olive oil, it will ruin the
end result.

You can use vegetable or corn oil.

If the mixture breaks while processing, stop adding
additional oil and lemon juice and continue pulsing until it comes together

Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up
to 1 month.

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